Bicycle Diaries: How the angels built bikes

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How the angels built bikes

Closed for nearly a decade, the Raleigh Industries building on Lenton Boulevard in Nottingham remains an empty, abandoned shell. But, thanks to Britisher, Ray Teece, we can still get a glimpse of the greatness that was on his website, The City of Nottingham at the Turn of the 21st Century. It was built between 1930 and 31 at the height of The Great Depression. But its architect, Cecil Howitt, softened the era's Modernist, monumental tendencies with small, almost unnoticeable Neo-Classical flourishes.

In photographing the building in its present state, Teece noticed a series of bronze plaques under the first floor windows on either side of the main entrance. These, not surprisingly, illustrate the manufacture of bikes from processing the components to the final finishing. What is surprising are the workers: pudgy, almost nude cherubs. Hopefully, these little gems won't end up on eBay. Perhaps, instead the Raleigh Industries building could become the focal point of pilgrimages for gentlemen and lady cyclists?

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